Robert Treggs / Android Authority
Once a feature reserved for flagship smartphones, 5G network It is now widely available across all price levels. But hardware support is only one side of the equation – many carriers around the world are still switching between them 4G LTE and 5G. With that in mind then, should you enable 5G on your smartphone? More importantly, does the feature drain your battery faster than previous genetic cellular standards? Here’s everything you need to know.
5G has the potential to consume more battery depending on how the carrier rolls out the network. You may also see higher battery drain if you are further from the nearest 5G cell tower. Keep reading to understand why.
Does 5G use more battery than 4G LTE?
You’re not alone if you notice higher than usual battery drain while connected to a 5G network. Samsung, Apple, T-Mobile, and others have admitted you should probably switch to 4G if you care about battery life. This may seem counter-intuitive, given that 5G was supposed to allow faster data transmission and reduced network activity. But there are actually some very good reasons behind this, starting with how carriers globally are upgrading to 5G infrastructure.
In short, carriers have two options when it comes to upgrading the existing 4G infrastructure to support 5G technologies. The first type, non-standalone 5G (5G NSA), involves using 5G to transfer data as you’d expect. However, it still routes calls and messages over the old 4G or 3G networks. according to SamsungThis means that your smartphone is connected to two different networks at the same time, which increases power consumption and battery drain. Standalone 5G (5G SA) deployments do not suffer from the same limitations as they are not dependent on LTE.
Your smartphone may still need 4G for voice and text when connected to a 5G network, which can further drain the battery.
Unsurprisingly, early users preferred 5G NSA because it was cheaper to deploy. And you can’t blame the carriers because the difference is likely to accrue country-wide. Unfortunately, that’s not something you can control, other than switch carriers anyway. in the United States, T-Mobile The group currently leads the way in terms of 5G SA coverage in the US. Before switching, keep in mind that there are also other factors associated with 5G that contribute to increased battery drain.
make a verb: How to turn off 5G on your Android phone
As we learned from 3G and 4G many years ago, moving smartphone hardware from 4G to 5G won’t happen overnight. The first 5G smartphones used a separate modem instead of a single modem built directly into the SoC. This resulted in an exceptionally high power draw across the board, and not just on 5G networks. The situation has improved somewhat since then, with the proliferation of built-in modems. However, 5G connectivity is still somewhat inefficient compared to 4G LTE.
Weak signal strength can greatly affect the battery life of your smartphone.
This problem only gets worse when you don’t have a decent reception. If you’re far from the nearest 5G tower, your phone’s modem has to work harder to establish a connection. In other words, expect higher power draw and lower battery life. Check your carrier’s coverage map if available. Depending on where you live, 5G towers may be few and far between – at least when compared to 3G and 4G LTE networks.
How much battery does 5G use compared to 4G?
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
In conclusion, 5G battery drain depends on the type of network you’re connected to, phone hardware, and cellular reception. These factors change and evolve over time, making it difficult to say how bad 5G is in relation to battery life.
As a quick reference point, though, early 5G smartphones lost 1-2 hours of battery life versus a standard 4G connection. The iPhone 12, the first in the series with 5G support, experienced this problem. To address this, Apple now offers a Smart Data mode that automatically switches from 5G to 4G when you don’t need it. Similarly, several users reported better battery life on the Pixel 6 series after disabling the 5G network.
Read more: How to turn off 5G on iPhone